Coming of Permian Age Story

How old were we when we stopped believing everything we read in textbooks? We live in a time when it’s impossible for content taught to children to be unadulterated by political views, in either direction. American and European history is a big culprit, and the evolution battle will (still) be around for awhile, but none of those fluctuating standards are completely universal across my generation. That is, none of the facts bestowed upon us as children were as consensual amongst people my age as the celestial golden standard: there are nine planets in our solar system.

In 2006, capping years of indecision, astronomers announced that Pluto was no longer a planet. For those of us who had solar system themed birthday parties, space mobiles above our crib, and/or the usual child’s fascination with outer space, this was a pretty huge linguistic event in the language of our lives. Even five years later, my generation still can’t stop talking about it in delusional nostalgia.

I liked outer space. I wanted to be an astronomer. I still do. But as a kid, one subject eclipsed every other in terms of my scientific curiosity: reptiles. I was obsessed with every kind of lizard, and like Modern Day A. Ruiz, I was obsessed with the so-called Terrible Ones.

And if you asked me, when I was seven-years-old, what my favorite Dinosaur was, I would have answered: Dimetrodon.

So fuck Pluto, that insignificant rock.

Dinosaur toys were fairly limited back in the day. Small plastic sets probably included the T-Rex, the Triceratops. Some would include a form of bronchiosaur or the like, and the niftiest probably had a pterodactyl, but a common piece in every set was a lizard with a fin on its back. In the language of toys, and cartoons like Dino Riders, the Dimetrodon was a Dinosaur. This wasn’t up to debate to seven-year-olds.

I don’t know when it entered the collective conscious of my generation, but at some point between high school and college, it seemed like everybody who knew anything about dinosaurs knew that the dimetrodon did not qualify. Like Pluto, it had become demoted.

In regards to the case of Science vs the Dimetrodon, resident Dino enthusiast A. Ruiz has been playing District Attorney for the last decade of my life. A. Ruiz might say that he follows the letter of the law of science, but in truth he simply hates the Dimetrodon. He despises the creature, and is intent to strip the prehistoric predator of all its well-earned Dinosaur accolades.

He ignores the lizardness and terribleness of the spinal-finned wunderkind. He points at the Dimetrodon’s early evolution, its similarities to early mammals, and the fact that it chewed its food. A. Ruiz is a meanie.

He’s also… probably… correct. As Dimetrodon’s legal defense, I failed to return glory to the creature. So maybe, like Pluto, the Dimetrodon isn’t want we thought it was. My generation learned many incorrect things about Dinosaurs and the Dimetrodon is just one inconsistency of fact between seven-year-old me and the cutting edge of modern paleontology.

So the Dimetrodon isn’t a Dinosaur.
I suggest, instead, that the Dimetrodon is so much more.

Lots of (Mostly Nintendo) Gaming News Last Week

As you guys should all know by now, Nintendo is planning to announce a new HD console during E3 this year. Here is some more information on it.

Cooking Mama announced for 3DS. How amazing is that going to be?

Starfox 64 3D and Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D get release dates.

Zelda Skyward Sword is supposed to be released this September. It will basically be the only Wii game to come out this year.

Here is some Street Fighter vs Tekken footage.

OMG, they are making a new Jurassic Park game. Here is like 13 minutes of footage.

A third party company is making a new handheld SNES.

All of Star Trek is coming to Netflix.

New study of the Big Bang shows that Time Travel is impossible. 🙁

How did dinosaurs have sex?

April’s Dinosaur of the Month: Triceratops

I realize that Velociraptor Awareness Day is this month, but Velociraptor already had its day in the sun. This month, we’re going to talk about the beloved Triceratops. Think about the most popular dinosaurs you knew of when you were a kid. T-Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, and Pterodactyl probably come to mind (Raptors didn’t get popular till Jurassic park). Out of those maybe two … and a half are actually dinosaurs. WHAT?!

Well we already talked about Brontosaurus a couple months ago, so you should be aware of his mishaps. Pterodactyl was never actually considered a dinosaur as they are just flying lizard in a completely different family. T-Rex and Stegosaurus are both actually dinos. Well what about Triceratops? Well, hes a dinosaur too … but he might not be what you think.

That is the skull of Torosaurus. Who the hell is Torosaurus? He may be what Triceratops actually is. You see, last year two Paleontologists, John Scannela and Jack Horner (who is a known contrarian) published a paper basically saying that Triceratops is actually a juvenile form of Torosaurus. In order to fully explain their evidence, I need to present you with this:

These are Nedoceratops skulls. Basically, they are claiming that Triceratops is the early stage of life for this animal. The triceratops loses a horn and turns into Nedoceratops as a transitional stage. From there, it gains its horn back, gains an entirely different head shape, and becomes Torosaurus. Seriously, they are suggesting that this dinosaur went through a life cycle similar to a pokemon.

Anyways, the bottom line is that new evidence is showing that Nedoceratops is not a transitional form between Triceratops and Torosaurus. I don’t want to go into all of the scientific details here, but you’re interested in reading about it, head over to this article.

While the jury is still out on whether or not Triceratops and Torosaurus are linked, take comfort in the fact that Triceratops will not disappear. Since Triceratops was the name that came before either of the other two, this dinosaur (pokemon) will always be called Triceratops.